Manchester United youngster Regan Poole can become ‘as good as Rio Ferdinand’, according to the 17-year-old’s former youth coach.

The Welsh under-19 international was withdrawn from international duty this week in preparation for the Reds’ Europa League clash against Liverpool and is expected to take a place on the substitute’s bench at Anfield tomorrow night.

And Poole’s former youth coach, Matty Davies, is convinced that his former charge has the talent to ‘go all the way’ in the game.

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Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, he said:

He is a smashing young man. He is as technically able as Rio Ferdinand. He has an eye for defence-splitting passes and is very comfortable on the ball, he has a bit of everything. He can do a number of roles and he has got the hunger and desire to be better.

His attitude is spot on. He was the first in to training and the last to leave. He was like a sponge, always wanting to learn.

Poole joined United from League Two side Newport County last summer and made his senior debut as a late substitute in the 5-1 win over Midtjylland last month. The club has high hopes for him, and he has already received praise from under-21 manager Warren Joyce for quickly adjusting to life in Manchester.

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Davies also said that Poole was a versatile player, having started out in centre midfield as a child, before moving back into defence in his teens:

He started out in centre midfield and worked his way back. He can play in a number of positions In terms of where he will end up, I haven’t got a crystal ball but he played at right-back for us as well.

We used Gareth Bale as an example because he played a lot at left-back. Regan’s attitude is a bit similar to Ben Davies, who’s now at Tottenham.

Finally, Davies said that he was confident that the 17-year-old will stay grounded despite his rise to the periphery of the first-team in the past month:

He is a United fan, I think that’s his mother Maria’s doing. He is a lovely lad, always smiling and well supported by his family. They’ll make sure he remains grounded.